COP15 Biodiversity Agreement: By 2030, Achieving 4 overarching global goals with 23 targets?

After two weeks, the UN Biodiversity Conference ended on 19 December. The so-called COP15 (15th Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity), held under the auspices of the United Nations (UNEP – UN Environmental Program) and chaired by China and hosted by Canada, adopted the “Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework” (GBF – “Global Nature Agreement”), which contains four goals and 23 targets to be achieved by 2030.

Almost 200 countries were involved in the negotiations. The core of the joint final declaration is formed by the 23 nature conservation goals the global community wants to implement by 2030 to halt the dramatic loss of species and ecosystems. In addition to the financing of the measures, the role of indigenous peoples has also been highlighted: The steps should take into account the rights, traditions and knowledge of these peoples.

The agreement was celebrated as a success, but it is also criticised for being too sketchy and too diffident. The agreement has no legal effect, and it is now up to the participating countries to push for its implementation with appropriate means.

Here is a selection of the agreed targets (the complete declaration can be found here) wich shows that the desired success will only be possible with a joint approach by governments, industry and society.

  1. Effective conservation and management of at least 30% of the world’s lands, inland waters, coastal areas and oceans, with emphasis on areas of particular importance for biodiversity and ecosystem functioning and services. The GBF prioritizes ecologically-representative, well-connected and equitably-governed systems of protected areas and other effective area-based conservation, recognizing indigenous and traditional territories and practices. Currently 17% and 10% of the world’s terrestrial and marine areas respectively are under protection.
  2. Have restoration completed or underway on at least 30% of degraded terrestrial, inland waters, and coastal and marine ecosystems
  3. Reduce to near zero the loss of areas of high biodiversity importance,including ecosystems of high ecological integrity
  4. Cut global food waste in half and significantly reduce over consumption and waste generation
  5. Reduce by half both excess nutrients and the overall risk posed by pesticides and highly hazardous chemicals
  6. Progressively phase out or reform by 2030 subsidies that harm biodiversity by at least $500 billion per year, while scaling up positive incentives for biodiversity’s conservation and sustainable use
  7. Mobilize by 2030 at least $200 billion per year in domestic and international biodiversity-related funding from all sources – public and private
  8. Raise international financial flows from developed to developing countries,in particular least developed countries, small island developing States, and countries with economies in transition, to at least US$ 20 billion per year by 2025, and to at least US$ 30 billion per year by 2030
  9. Prevent the introduction of priority invasive alien species, and reduce by at least half the introduction and establishment of other known or potentially invasive alien species, and eradicate or control invasive alien species on islands and other priority sites
  10. Require large and transnational companies and financial institutions to monitor, assess, and transparently disclose their risks, dependencies and impacts on biodiversity through their operations, supply and value chains and portfolios.

In the video, David Ainsworth, Information Officer Convention on Biological Diversity, explains the outcome and the context.